“In spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” — Margaret Atwood
Yesterday was a wonderful day. I am “babysitting” this weekend. I really don’t have to do much to watch these kids because they are getting too old for much tending, and I’m reminded that in a few short years they will be grown and off to college. But this weekend we spent time together, and they help me get one of my gardens ready for planting before the March winds drove us back inside where it was warmer.
What I love about gardening is that I feel a sense of satisfaction. I feel like I have accomplished something. I’d like to have a much bigger garden space, and this year I’m going to add two more beds – and hopefully some flower beds around the perimeter of my yard. I have a huge space. I could grow lots and lots of things. And I dream of that. I dream mostly about all the time I’ll have after I retire.
I have always thought that I’ll have a backyard that is just bursting with gardens and all the wonderful things that gardens bring: flowers, vegetables and herbs. The garden we planted today will be a lettuce, pepper, and tomato garden. I have a vision of a wonderfully big round herb garden in the middle of the yard. I have visions of flowers all around the perimeter of the yard. I’m adding to my single little garden this year, and slowly but surely I’ll have a grand “jardin potager”.
I think the most important part of gardening is patience. It is not instant. But by working at it year after year, before long a wonderful space emerges. So many things about gardens take a little time, like getting a wonderful compost pile going and learning how to make organic additions for the garden, like worm tea.
Here are some of my favorite people/authors who are writing and talking about permaculture, urban gardening, and front yard gardening. Morag Gamble gardens in Australia, which is a pretty different climate than what I have here in Ohio, but she really has lots and lots of good ideas about gardening and making composts. The link takes you to one of her YouTube videos. Here is her blog, also fabulous! Charles Dowding is a wonderful person who writes about no dig gardening. He also lives in a very different climate from my own, but I really believe we can learn a lot about gardening by listening to what other gardeners are doing in terms of planting and mulching, etc., even if the gardener isn’t living right in our area. My favorite book that I’m reading right now is The Essential Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter and Willow Rosenthal. This is truly an inspiring account of two young women who are carving out a permaculture in the heart of Oakland, CA. I can’t recommend this book enough. Last but certainly not least are the grandparents of creating a life centered around growing and living a more natural life, Scott and Helen Nearing. If you don’t know them, here is a short film about their lives. You can read more here.
Well, that’s about all for today. The kids are waking up and it’s time to go back to being “babysitting” grandma! Have a wonderful weekend and go ahead, make a little start on a garden today. It will be warm any day now.